A few words about those sixties

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 1, 2021

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Yep, I’ve used a heap of ink in the over quarter of a century we’ve been sharing these weekly stories about good old days talking about the forties and fifties, but today, we will do some dwelling on that 1960 era when things sho nuff began to change in this old world.

John Patterson was the high governor, and “Everything Is Made For Love” Frank Boykin was taking care of this part of Alabama up there in the halls of Congress.

Speaking of Congress, the Democrats continued to hold control of both the house and the senate by large majorities, but the papers reported that the probability is that the conservative coalition of Southern Democrats and Northern Republicans will continue to function, but not so effectively without a conservative President in the White House, then being occupied by John F. Kennedy.  This scenario sound familiar to anybody reading today? 

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Folks still had to pay a poll tax to vote in this state in 1960, and although many a thing was about to change around here in that decade, a heap stayed the same for a while longer.

Now, back yonder in 1940 a Coca cola was five cents, a new Chevy Master Business Coupe sold for $659, and a Nash 4 door at Skinner Motors only cost $780. Marengo Motors would finance any used car for $4.43 a week, ladies’ shoes were $2.95, and men’s suits were as cheap as $11.95 at Bedsoles’. Robertson Bank reported assets of $632,296.03 in January, 1940.

Long came 1950.  RBC had grown to $2,367,887.07, but a Buick Special 3 passenger coupe only set you back $1,972.  Ladies shoes, regularly $5.95 to $10.95, were on sale for 98 cents.  You could get a can of Carnation evaporated milk for 5 cents, and cokes were still only a nickel.

Then in the year of 1960, RBC had grown to $5,211,909.05, but you could still get ladies shoes for $4.99, and Levy’s had men’s summer suits on sale for $15.  They had quit advertising price of cars in the paper, and Coca Colas had risen to six cents, soon to climb to a dime, unless you bought two cartons for a buck in the store. (eight cents apiece). 

Life was still pretty simple around these parts, and the cost of living had not jumped up to bite us in the rump quite yet.  That was to come, but that’s a story for another time.

Willie Gray Little was named Linden’s man of the year at the Jaycee Banquet, and was presented a plaque by Dennis Barkley, the previous year’s winner.

First football games of the year had Thomaston, led by John Moseley, beating up on Sweetwater by a score of 26-0.  Henry Roberts threw a Red Devil touchdown, and Marvin Tucker kicked the extra point to give Linden a victory over Greensboro 7-6. 

Later on, Thomaston whupped Linden 19-6, but the Devils put it on Demopolis for the second year in a row after a mighty long dry spell.

Claude Neilson pitched Demopolis to the championship of the Warrior Conference, and John Cox Webb was selected to play in the East-West game in B’ham with Coach Harold Johnson managing the east team.

It was still long distance to call between Linden and Demopolis, but there was a special offer to buy a new Ford Fairlane for $55 a month, and it had a Magic Air Heater, and two sun visors.

I’m pretty sure the tent covered skating rinks were still operating in Linden and Demopolis.  Any of y’all recollect the main tune they used to play for the skaters?  It was “The Coconut Grove.” I can hum that tune to this very day from my skating days, and just about hear those roller skates making the rounds, and near ‘bout smell ‘em, too.

Well, anyhow, times were sure to change up in the way folks acted in the decade of the sixties, but in that first year of 1960, things were pretty much the same.

Oh, I forgot to mention to y’all.  King Size Cokes came along, and I remember a cartoon in the Saturday Evening Post of one of those bottles washing up on a desert island where a fellow was shipwrecked.  He picked it up with a startled look, and exclaimed, “My Gosh!  I’ve shrunk!”